We've all heard of the phrase: this beer is 'skunked'. Until now I've never had a skunked beer in my life, I'm a good ghost who keeps his beer out of range of the evil sun. You may or may not know that the hops used in the 'making beer' process have a certain dislike of UV rays. These evil UV rays which so many people love for making them tanned, will also make your beer taste bad, so they say. The UV rays take a certain dislike to some hop compounds and break them down, causing the beer to have a certain off flavour.
It has been said that clear and green glass offers no protection against the sun and only brown glass can ward off these devious rays. Or so I've been told.
I wanted to indulge in a little experiment today.
Above are 6 bottled beers. 3 of these beers have spent over 4 hours in direct sunlight, and in that time they became rather warm. (very warm indeed actually!) These 3 were then put back with their counterparts and mixed up so I wouldn't be able to make any pre-conceived tasting notes in my brain about what may occur.
A beer being packaged in brown glass, I was under the assumption that 4 hours under the guns wouldn't affect it. But I was also interested to see if a very high temperature change would affect the beer at all. It seemed I needn't worry at all though. Both beers looked, smelled and tasted exactly the same. A win for the brown beer bottle then, and for Brooklyn beer too. Not only did it withstand 4 hours in the sun, but it also withstood being roasted to the gills! Well played indeed Brooklyn.
On the pour nothing looked out of the ordinary. In fact when I lifted the glasses to the nose, no un-trained (or trained for that matter) aromatic professor would be able to tell the difference between these beers.
What of the taste though. Well to be perfectly honest, I couldn't find a single difference. It seems that Tsingtao has the same luck in the draw as Brooklyn Lager. Both beers were tamely delicious. Could it be that the rice used in the production of this beer has some UV preservative qualities? Probably not, but it passed my test.
Once again there was not much difference to the aromas of the two. In fact there was no difference at all.
If there was a beer which you thought would not pass the test, you'd think it this one. But NO!
I didn't understand. It tasted exactly the same in both glasses! What was going on, I wondered to myself? Did I not leave it in the sun long enough?? Did it even have hops in it?? The bottle didn't state that it did.
Maybe I was just trying to make excuses. It's not a bad beer. It won the Gold Medal in the category for best dry lager in the 1998 World Beer Cup, so it must have hops in it at least.
What's going on!?!?
I'm no bio-chemist, I'm not even any form of chemist. But I left 3 of these beers in direct sunlight for over 4 hours!!! And they all got to a temperature of that well above of your average take away pizza!!! Please tell me what I've done wrong because:
I've tried this experiment with three bottle shades, and yet to have tried a 'Skunked Beer' in my life!!!